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“Relaxing Retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The James Royal Palm

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The James Royal Palm
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139‎   |  
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Up to $75 Daily Credit
Ranked #38 of 201 hotels in Miami Beach
Westchester, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Relaxing Retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at the James Royal Palm and had a wonderful experience. From the very beginning, the staff at the hotel was extremely professional, kind, and friendly. We were greeted with a smile by everyone we encountered. We particularly enjoyed the wait staff by the pool patio, the chair/umbrella people on the beach, Douglas the waiter at Catch, and the girls who worked at the coffee bar. We chatted wih so many of the staff members and felt they were just genuine, nice people. Our room was very nice, although like I see in many other reviews, I have to say that housekeeping doesn't seem to have their stuff together just yet. We stayed Monday-Friday and our room was not cleaned Thursday or Friday. We were leaving and at that point I didn't want to complain. We did find it weird that the windows in the bathroom had no curtains or blinds!! We had to hang towels so people couldn't watch us shower...

Any breakfast or lunch we had from Florida Cookery was delicious. The drinks as well. The service is a little on the slow side, but we didn't really get to bothered by this while we lounged in the sun :) Catch was amazing. We sat outside and had one of the most delicious meals we've ever had. It was pricey, but very worth it.

There was also a $21/day resort fee. I personally found this to be very worth it considering we didn't have to haggle anyone on the beach for chairs/umbrella because they were already there for us, along with bottled water and fruit! When you stay at hotels that aren't on the beach, you need to pay $20 for a chair anyway, so the resort fee didn't bother me at all.

I did book through Orbitz and feel like I got a great deal because of how far in advance we booked, but I do see the prices have gone up since. I wish they would stay reasonable so people can have the opportunity to stay here and enjoy the fabulous staff!!

We also went to the spa one day and had a wonderful experience. The view from the Spa Deck was breathtaking and the complimentary mimosas made it even better!

Overall, we said we would stay at the James again in a heartbeat. Its in a GREAT location, the staff treated us like royalty, the beach and pool were beautiful, and we were very relaxed the entire time :) Looking forward to coming back soon!!

Room Tip: If you want a quieter room, you should probably pay to have an ocean view. We heard a lot of street...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Calabasas, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

My family and I stayed here on the way back from Central America. The hotel is nice and under new ownership. The location is good and rooms are nice. We had a two bedroom apt, good rate and spacious. They did a great job for the kids for Easter. The rooms are thin walled and easy to hear your neighbors. Service is ok, not great and not what's would expect of this hotel. Concierge needs improvement, called multiple time and was told would get a call back and never did, not their fault, management should add more concierges, too much for one person at peak times. For the price It is a good value, would stay here again if I came back to south beach.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Lovetotraveltheworld-

Thank you for the kind words about our rooms, location and Easter festivities. I am disappointed to hear about the OK service. Certainly not what we expect from ourselves either. I appreciate the specifics regarding Concierge and we are addressing staffing. As we've only recently opened, we are tracking trends in business volume in all areas and adjusting staffing models to better manage peak periods.

I look forward to your next visit and review!

Best-
Patrick Hatton
General Manager
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed at the James Royal in mid-March for one night in an ocean-view balcony. The upgrade to the balcony was one of the best decisions we've made! The staff at the front desk were extremely helpful and professional. The lobby itself is small, but things moved quickly. Our room had one of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever encountered! The view is really the selling point of the hotel- uninterrupted views of South Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

We made use of the gym. While the gym was very small, it had everything we could want and was never crowded. The pool features a DJ on Saturday afternoons who played techno music on a loop. While it could get irritating if you're looking for an afternoon of relaxation, the experience was quintessentially "South Beach." The only draw back we could find was the hotel restaurant "Florida Cookery." Our breakfast took an hour and a half and we only ordered an omelet and granola. I'm convinced the homemade granola was actually crunched up Nature Valley bars. Eat breakfast elsewhere, but definitely stay at The James Royal Palm if you're in South Beach for the weekend.

Room Tip: Upgrade to balcony. Views spectacular.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
MBOst0n

Thank you for the 5 star review and great tip on the Oceanfront King. Appreciate the kind words about the Front Desk team and complimentary Gym. The Poolside DJ was in place for the Special Event weekends of World Music Festival and Ultra, not a regular feature.

My apologies for the poor experience in Florida Cookery. Appreciate the feedback so we can fix.

Look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best
Patrick Hatton
General Manager
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Franklin, Michigan, United States
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

This location right on Collins in the heart of South Beach on the water is after many years of visiting the area-- prime and best.
The James, like almost all South Beach and Miami properties is an old facility from the 60's... BUT you'd never know it
In November last year new owners poured millions into this renovation and the result is one of the coolest and most appealing hotels-- certainly in this area. The rooms are white and clean and modern and splashed with color and accents and art and the halls are fun and colorful and the pool area beautiful with an upper and lower pool-- walk out to the beach with attendants everywhere to help you secure comfortable lounges and bring you umbrellas and anything else you desire. Very attentive and very helpful staff throughout.
This is the South Beach you want to visit with walking to restaurants along Ocean and near to shopping on Washington and all the hot restaurants from yesterday and today like Joes and Prime
10 stars

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Michael S-

What a review! Thank you for the great comments on our location and renovation. Working closely with Lauren Rottet, our award winning interior architect, our goal was to honor the history and Art Deco era architecture of the original Royal Palm while infusing the modern residential style of The James brand. Ms. Rottet also curated our one of a kind Art Collection to be in harmony with our desired outcome. I am pleased that you enjoyed our work,

We look forward to welcoming you back soon,

Patrick Hatton
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Location wise this place is great, unfortunately that's where it all ends. Our room for starters had no phone, so we couldn't order room service or make calls when 3 out of 6 nights of our stay we were woken up by party goers who were haing fun in the corridor or the couple having a domestic in the lift in the early hours of the morning it became an issue.

The room also had no hair dryer, we had to request the shower head be fixed as it was so dodgy that when you put it on the water sprayed backwards (they did this with 24hrs of complaining).

We ordered room service using the phone in the spa and they brought up my breakfast with no cutlery so I ate yogurt with a coffee spoon. The spa was very expensive compared to the Mondrian where I normally stay, close to 25% more expensive.

The real corker moment was when my boyfriend and I left an iPhone 5 on a sunbed which was manned all day by hotel staff. We went back within 30mins realising where it was, they told us security had it. Front desk told us security didn't but to wait until they did and they would bring it up. Another half hour went past and security still didn't have it, I called (the charged iPhone) which someone had now turned off (?) and went back to the pool and started asking around. Two more visits back and fourth from the pool and one of the young staff had 'accidently' found it in his pocket. Luckily a lovely guy named Joe around the pool who we had been tipping helped sort it out and find it but I imagine the young guy was hoping to pocket it.

If you can - avoid.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
SorayaS325-

On behalf of the team, I apologize for your experience with us. Clearly, your room should not have been rented as Phones and Hairdryers are not only expected, but standard fixtures on our rooms. I will reach out to you offline to get your room number and more information on the iPhone situation so I can address and correct the lost and found process.

Thank you for sharing your feedback and once again, my apologies.

Patrick Hatton
General Manager
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

My husband and I stayed 7 nights at the James Royal Palm in March for the WMC conference. Hotel is beautiful and in a perfect location, checked in 6 am, went to Florida Cookery for breakfast. Our first impression of the hotel - BAD! The waiter was horrible, rude and unfriendly. When we got our bill, we realized 18% gratuity was charged to the bill. No wonder the poor service & attitude. I do not feel a restaurant should automatically charge an 18% tip. I was always led to believe a tip was for good service above and beyond regular services, not for poor service and bad food.

Our room was beautiful with ocean view. But they seems to be short staffed in the housekeeping department. Everyday we have to call the front desk to request housekeeping because we will be out 4-5 hours and retuned to the room still not made up.

We ordered room service I checked the bill 18% gratuity was charged again, I gave the person who delivered the food a tip anyway, because I was not sure whether he will be benefited from the 18% auto. gratuity. It is disappointing that they actually automatically added the 18% to a room service order.

The highlight of our stay was when we received our final bill before checking out, we found the retreat fees daily were charged $21/per day + tax (weekend) and $19/per day + tax (weekday). Yes! This was totally not communicated to us at anytime before the booking or during our entire stay. Don't you think it would be a good idea just to mention it (at lease) at the time we check in? These unexpected charges just show up on our bill?

Something even more unbelievable was we rented a in room movie, it was supposed to be $16.99 + tax, but on the bill it appeared $19.23+$2.86tax. I guess the 18% gratuity was also charged to an in room movie order! Come on! Really?

Overall, I like the hotel & location but was highly disappointed by the service and hidden charges. If you plan to stay in this hotel in the future, I'd suggest that you must check the bill carefully otherwise it may result double tipping. Make sure to utilize all the amenities as possible to get what you pay for worth wide.

Room Tip: Do not have breakfast at Florida Cookery, average food and super expensive, rude waiters & waitr...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Sharon N-

Thank you for sharing your experience with us on TA. I am sorry for the poor service you received during your stay. There is no excuse for this and I will address with AM Service team. As for the Retreat fee. I am sorry this was not explained. I will reach out to see how you booked to insure all sites selling or reselling our rooms communicate this fee and what it includes. Unlike most of the other hotels on the beach that charge for each service (beach chairs, umbrellas, internet, in room water, Gym, etc), we bundle all services into on fee.

While I agree with your position on auto gratuity, the practice is standard in the market and required to be competitive in the labor market. So you are aware, it is the right of the guest to add or reduce auto gratuity based on quality of service. We don't do a good job advising guests of this and will review how to better do so.

My apologies for long response. Thank you again for the feedback.

Patrick Hatton
General Manager
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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

For $350 a night(listed online at $550) the service was absolutely some of the worst I have seen.
1. Concierge - had to call two times to get two wine glasses and an wine opener. Took so long we just left the room
2.pool- if you can find a server it will take about 20 minutes to get a drink. Waited so long for server that I missed breakfast
3. Florida cookery restaurant- waited over and hour for a salad that was comped by hotel as our room was not ready until and hour and 15 minutes past check in.
4. You typically have to ask for things an average of 3 times before you get it

Only good service was at lobby bar-Dennis the bartender was very helpful

Overall this is a pretty cool hotel with a great location. If they could train they're staff MUCH better it could be a great spot.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick H, General Manager at The James Royal Palm, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Nkbarnes-

Thank you for sharing your feedback about your experience with us. I am terribly sorry for the level of service you experienced in all areas except the Lobby Bar (agree that Dennis is great).

While no excuse, our occupancy and outlet business levels shot up in March as the market was very busy. As our first month of 90%+ occupancy on a daily basis, we certainly learned a lot about the stress on our operation over the music conferences and Spring Break. I assure you that we are listening and seeing where we need to improve and will invest the proper resources to do so quickly. I am confident that the $550 price were asking our guests to pay will be a great value as we deliver a more consistent level of attentive service.

Thank you again. i do appreciate the feedback.

Patrick Hatton
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The James Royal Palm

Address: 1545 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139‎
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 201 hotels in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The James Royal Palm 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Featured as one of Conde Nast Traveler UK & US Magazine's "Hot Hotels of 2013" and now a AAA Four Diamond rated beachfront retreat, The James Royal Palm is The James brand's third location and first hotel in Florida. Joining sister properties in Chicago and New York City, the ideally situated, oceanfront hotel offers a total of 393 guest rooms, including studios and suites, with the majority offering ocean views. A combination of personalized comfort, generous complimentary amenities, residentially styled, artistically-inspired details and impeccable service, create an environment ideal for both business and leisure travelers. Just steps away from the beach and world famous Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, the oceanfront beach retreat is located within the coveted and culturally-rich area of South Beach. The James Royal Palm provides guests with a location immersed in luxury retail, endless entertainment and an unmatched shopping experience.Designed by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio, The James Royal Palm is as a modern tribute to the original Royal Palm Hotel's rich history, keeping intact many signature elements of the original architect's design. The compass rose on the terrazzo lobby floor, original green glass reception desk and porthole windows in the lobby lounge have all been preserved and restored.The James Royal Palm features two swimming pools, a plunge pool, poolside bar, The James Pool and Beach Experience, lobby lounge, coffee bar, renew the spa, a full-service spa with salt-infused treatments, lil' james Offerings and Play Space for children, give: the shop, a retail shop offering carefully curated items, and more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Guests can enjoy dining options including signature restaurant Florida Cookery; featuring regional Florida fare. A daily beach retreat charge includes: The James Beach and Pool Experience with Sun Concierge, children's play area, two beach chaise loungers and umbrella, poolside loungers, towel service, 24-hour gym, Lil' James play space access, and local & domestic long distance calls. The James offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, triple-distilled water refreshed twice daily and access to bicycles. ... more   less 
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